The Cutest Hand-Cranked Washing Machine
June 26th, 2012 | Cleaning Products, D.I.Y., alternative, cleaning, compact, eco, environmental, green, hand-cranked, laundry, machine, manual, review, Sustainable, wash, washing, Wonder Wash
Wonder Wash from The Laundry Alternative.
Laundry day no longer fills me with dread as it used to. We live in a small apartment with no washing machine and I used to have to go to the local laundromat whenever it was time to do laundry. I am extremely hypersensitive to chemicals and a day at the laundromat would mean a migraine and pure agony for me from all of the bleach and other chemical laundry detergents used by everyone else doing their laundry. It was especially painful if I had to go on a rainy or cold day when all of the doors and windows were tightly closed and I had no chance of getting a breath of fresh air to get me through the experience. I finally got fed up with the whole experience and did a search online for apartment-sized washing machines only to find prices out of control and no second hand alternatives available.
I randomly did a google search for manual washing machines and hit gold. The Wonder Wash showed up, and reading reviews from people who had been using it for years soon convinced me this compact, hand-cranked machine really worked. The bonus was that it doesn’t cost much and not only gives my arms a bit of a work out, but also saves me money for my electric bill. (I have been doing my best to find ways to avoid giving our energy company BC Hydro any more money than necessary as they are really a rather evil and manipulative company–see my articles on smartmeters, dams etc).
So how does this little treasure work? It is rather like a pressure cooker. After filling the Wonder Wash about half full with hot water, soap, dirty clothes and a few drops of citronella and rosemary essential oils, screw on the lid tightly and hand crank the machine for two minutes. Drain, gently wring out the clothes and rinse them by adding in cooler water and cranking again for 30 seconds. Wring out your clothes and hang them out to dry. The use of hot water and the agitation from the hand cranking forces the soap and water through the material resulting in very clean clothes.
The main set-back I have experienced is from wringing out the clothes by hand. If I do too many clothes in one day I usually get blisters on my hands. This is remedied by being careful to pay attention to your hands and stop before you develop blisters. I am keeping my eyes open for an old-fashioned clothes wringer, but have yet to find one. The other thing that could be an issue is that the laundry machine isn’t that big, so it might be difficult to use for a large household. We do fine because there are just two of us. I generally do laundry once a week as I prefer not to let the amount of clothes build up too much.
On the whole, the machine is great. It can wash towels, light blankets, sheets–I have even washed a small sheepskin in it!
I have had to wash my clothes by hand before and for anyone who hasn’t tried it, I can tell you that that process is a real pain. It is hard to get clothes really clean, especially jeans or other heavy pants. I have been using the Wonder Wash for about a year now and am still thrilled to bits with this handy piece of technology.
This laundry machine is environmentally friendly, uses less water and detergent than regular machines, saves money on electricity, pays for itself in 8 weeks, is great for students, for trips in campers, is compact, portable and lightweight. I usually do my laundry in the bathtub where I can just poor the water from the machine down the drain. It is very easy to use and affordable.
The Wonder Wash is produced by a lovely ethical and honest company called The Laundry Alternative. Check it out, you will not be disappointed.
I don’t have one of these yet, but have been reading everyone’s opinions who have. They seem to really like it. I have a washer, but no dryer. I hang my stuff outside as my dryer died. I am wondering why people still wring out their stuff. Why not just let clothes drip dry on a hanger? Takes longer, but so what? A tension rod over the tub/shower would take the water down the drain, and not let all of it into the air. Unless you can hang it outside. They also make portable spinners, electric and not.